The secrets to autumn thriving
By Rippan Sandhu
With daylight savings comes autumn and along with it's beautiful colours, autumn, being a season of transition it can affect us physically and mentally.
According to Ayurveda this is time of the year when there is maximum chance of dosha imbalance. As the leaves dry up and the wind begins to blow, vata dosha begins to take over—governed by air and marked by change, instability, and anxiety. Metaphorically speaking, what happens when you add random blasts of air to a fire? It burns even brighter. When the accumulated heat of pitta is fanned by vata, it can lead to mental and physical burnout, stressing our adrenals and nervous system and putting some of the body’s natural detoxification processes on hold.
Autumn is dry and light by nature which is provoking to vata so it is valuable for anyone suffering from stress or anxiety to know that this is a season where self-care goes a long way toward increasing your sense of well-being.
The secrets to autumn thriving
In the ayurvedic world, Autumn is considered vata season. It’s a time of the year when leaves dry up, temperatures drop and there is sudden chill in the air, this change can be drying, distracting, stimulating and exhausting every part of you. It is valuable for anyone suffering from stress or anxiety to know that this is a season where self-care goes a long way toward increasing your sense of well-being just with the right combinations of food, activities, and changes in your routine, you can feel nourished and inspired through the autumn and winter seasons rather than lack luster and depleted.
Ayurveda's richly supportive science offers some beautifully simple ways to protect yourself, calm your mind and nourish your nervous system. To that end, here are few things that you can add to your day to guide you through a smooth, warm, grounding, and balanced fall, and into a nourishing winter!
The most significant impact of stress is on our breathing. When we become stressed, our breathing becomes shallow, meaning that cells are denied precious oxygen. This makes us feel even more fatigued so at least three times each day take 5-10 long, deep breaths.
Oil your body
Massage yourself with warm sesame oil. Sesame oil is lubricating and warming to your skin, joints and muscles and will help protect you from dryness, cracking joints, and stiff muscle pain. Applying a little warm sesame oil to the inside of your nose and ears also protects from the influence of cold dry weather. It helps prevent ear aches and supports your immunity by protecting your nose and ears from infection.
The ideal autumn diet should consist of warm foods that are sweet, mildly spicy, and salty. These are the tastes that increase moisture in the body and help us feel grounded. Turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon are good spices with amazing health benefits, add to your kitchen pantry. Try pumpkin soup, seasonal vegetable stews with a little olive oil and black pepper, and baked apples.
A simple breakfast of organic oat porridge with raisins and little cinnamon and honey is a warm and wet perfect start to the day.
Establish a regular daily routine, stay calm, warm and nourished. Drink plenty of lukewarm water and sip Vata tea throughout the day. Ending your day with a cup of hot milk with a pinch of cinnamon, ginger powder and nutmeg (for an alternative try our turmeric milk recipe) will help to settle your mind and nourish your nervous system for a peaceful night's sleep.
Tip of Season
Hugs are grounding and nurturing, consistent with Marma therapy which engages the 72,000 channels, or nadis, that run through our bodies—hugging has the potential to regulate the flow of prana through our nadis, restoring a natural rhythm. When the flow of prana is unobstructed, it maximizes our body’s potential to heal itself. Ayurvedic medicine discovered this long before modern scientists, for it highlights our interdependence on each other to thrive, physically and psychologically.
This autumn, as the season delivers mobility, share a hug to reclaim stability. As the autumn temperatures drop, create warmth through an embrace. Spend some time with those who matter to you and don’t be shy share hugs.